After the big snowfall, comes the big freeze.
Gov. Ned Lamont called it a “heavy storm,” dumping between 8 and 14 inches around the state, mostly during the overnight hours into Thursday morning.
The snow ended late Thursday morning and was followed by partly sunny skies and temperatures a few degrees above freezing in southern Connecticut.
The National Weather Service says temperatures will fall into the teens to low 20s across Connecticut Thursday night.
After a brief warmup Thursday afternoon, temperatures dropped and will remain below freezing through Saturday night, according to the NWS.
Temperatures are also expected to fall a few degrees below normal late next week.
The NWS reported most of Connecticut saw around 8 inches of snowfall, with some spots in the central part of the state receiving about a foot. The coastal cities of Bridgeport, New Haven and New London saw closer to 6 inches, according to the NWS.
The worst of the storm came overnight and into early Thursday morning. There was a brief period of strong wind gusts as high as 40 mph.
Despite earlier concerns of widespread power outages, Eversource’s peak outages were about 400 by Thursday afternoon. Eversource said it had 475 line workers, 250 tree crews and 120 to 130 damage assessors ready to respond to outages caused by the storm as needed.
United Illuminating reported more than 650 outages, with nearly 500 in Trumbull that were restored by Thursday afternoon.
By around 5:30 p.m., outages reported by Eversource had dropped to just 15 statewide, with five of them in Wilton. UI reported one outage in New Haven affecting two customers around the same time.
State Police reported no fatal accidents on the roads Thursday. Troopers responded to 59 accidents and more than 200 incidents of assisting motorists.
Lamont said more 700 state Department of Transportation plow trucks worked through the night and into Thursday to clear the roads.
Tractor-trailers and tandem trailers were banned from limited access highways from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 9 a.m. Thursday, which Lamont said was a big help for plows keeping up with snow on the roadways. Neighboring states issued similar bans.
Lamont said he believed “less than a dozen” trucks stayed overnight at Hammonasset Beach and Sherwood Island state parks due to the ban.
“A tractor trailer spinning out, gets out of control, can jam up traffic, can slow up snow plowing,” Lamont said. “Takes a lot of cops to get that cleaned up. I think it made a big difference and allowed us ... to get the roads back up and operable a lot faster.”
Despite the travel conditions, Lamont said there were no delays of any COVID-19 vaccine deliveries in Connecticut.
“We got all of them over the last couple of days,” he said, adding they reached the nursing homes as well. “I don’t think there should be any delays.”
Some COVID-19 testing sites were also closed due to the storm. Hartford HealthCare, which operates several drive-through test sites, announced all would close Thursday and urged residents to get a test before or after the storm.
Josh Geballe, the state’s chief operating officer, said that while test sites had closed, he didn’t expect a “major backup” in testing due to the storm.
Lamont said beyond the tractor-trailer ban, residents also limited their travel, allowing for more efficient plowing efforts. He said Eversource and United Illuminating had staff pre-positioned around the state in the event of major outages because of the storm.
In New Haven, officials said plows are working hard, but a lot more needs to be done. Many vehicle owners moved their cars from the streets, officials said, making plowing easier.
Fairfield Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said the timing of the storm, with the worst hitting during the overnight hours, helped officials stay on top of the cleanup in town.
“It made it a much easier and safer storm to contend with,” McCarthy said. “Roads were extremely quiet.”
In New York, the inclement weather canceled at least two flights at Westchester County Airport Thursday morning. A JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale at 8:15 a.m. and another to Fort Myers at 8:30 a.m. were canceled.
Leading up to the nor’easter, state officials urged residents to stay home until roads were cleared and safe for travel. Many school districts announced by Wednesday afternoon that classes would either be canceled or held remotely Thursday.
Activated Wednesday, the state’s severe cold weather protocol remains in effect through noon Friday. Anyone in need of shelter can call 211 or visit www.211ct.org/.
Staff Writer Peter Yankowski contributed reporting
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.